Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences




Vulnerability to climate change varies depending on the baseline climate, sensitivity to given exposure, and the presence of social, political, cultural, and institutional inequalities that influence access to essential resources of livelihood, particularly among informal labor market participants. Within the risky informal labor market, the transient nature of sex work implies that sex workers suffer disproportional losses in health, income, protection, and other aspects of general well-being as a result of the effects of climate anomalies. In this paper, I investigate the effect of temperature on the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in a high-risk population of female sex workers in India. Using a subset of survey data that corresponds to 16,450 workers matched with temperature levels; I find noisy yet suggestive evidence that high temperatures drive infections. Given the scarcity of data and research on sex work, as well as the fact that STIs continue to contribute to the global burden of infectious diseases, this paper is one of the few that offers a new perspective to policies and interventions aimed at the prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases, while also emphasizing the need for additional research into the interaction between climate and STIs.